Friday night on AXS TV saw the return of Titan Fighting Championship with TFC 25 from the Marshall Army Airfield in Fort Riley, Kansas. Fort Riley is home to the 1st Infantry Division "The Big Red One" and their presence was a big part of the night. There was an Apache helicopter, a tank, a million dollar Shadow Drone and other military vehicles and equipment in and around the stands. It also included footage of Pat Miletech training some of the soldiers. he ones in attendance were treated to an entertaining night of fights from Titan Fighting Championship starting with Marcio Navarro (11-7) taking on Aaron "Daddy Long Legs" Derrow (11-6) in a lightweight clash.
This is a classic stylistic matchup. Derrow is a grappling specialist with nine of his twelve wins coming via submission. As Micheal Schiavello informs us, Navarro is the current ISKA sanction kick boxing champion. Surprisingly Navarro does not seem to possess much power and Derrow, with two KO/TKO wins, has one more than Narvarro. Navarro does have some skills on the ground and he needed them in the first round. Derrow shoots in the opening seconds and Navarro stuffs it. Derrow spends the next minute and a half working the takedown before he gets it. Derrow spends about a minute on top but does not do much damage, just a couple of decent body shots. Derrow gets another takedown and takes the back as they go to the ground. He attempts a couple of chokes and lands some nice elbows and punches. Derrow was able to control the action and keep the fight in his world. He spent much of the last two minutes of the round on Navarro's back and pounding away at him. It was clearly Derrow's round. He had Navarro in a little trouble.
The second round starts out like the first. Derrow shoots for the takedown. Navarro stops it. Navarro has his back against the cage and Derrow is working for the takedown. Derrow is starting to show signs of fatigue and he cannot get the takedown. After a minute and a half they end up on their feet in the center of the cage. Navarro lands a several leg kicks and slips Derrow's jab a couple of times. Navarro easily out strikes him and lands a right hand that staggers Derrow. It is the cleanest and best shot from either fighter in this fight. One thing is apparent in this round, Navarro has no respect for Derrow's standup. He keeps his hands low and is easily able to avoid Derrow's punches with his movement. Derrow does knock Navarro down once with thirty seconds left in the round. Navarro was not hurt by the right hand. He was off balance from the a leg kick and he is quickly back to his feet. This is clearly Navarro's round, he controlled the action and landed four to fives times the kicks and punches than Derrow. This fight will come down to the third round.
Both fighters come out with a little bounce to their step to start round three. Navarro is slipping Derrow's shots and lands some of his own. Derrow makes a desperation shot for a takedown and is easily stuffed by Navarro. The leg kicks seem to have slowed down Derrow just enough and he cannot explode like he did in the first round. He does not back down and he keeps trying to find a way to win this fight. He just does not seem to be able to work his takedown off of a combination and cannot close the distance to shoot for one. Navarro's defense is really the story. He stops the takedowns and slips most of the punches and does more damage in the standup. He takes a tough SD win that leaves both fighters exhausted at the end. It is a great start to the night and both fighters showed tremendous heart and spirit.
Final Result: Marcio Navarro defeats Aaron Derrow via SD (29-28 x 2, 28-29)
The next fighting treat for us is a heavyweight clash between Gregg Van De Creek (1-1) and Kirk "Big Country" Grinlinton (3-4). This match up is again about contrasts as Van De Creek stands 6'5" and weighed in at 226lbs, and Grinlinton at 5'11" and 252lbs. At the start of the fight Grinlinton takes control with three straight inside leg kicks followed by an overhand right. He backs Van De Creek against the cage and quickly picks him up for a nice little slam takedown landing right in side control. Thirty seconds in and it looks like it is going to be a quick fight. Van De Creek though goes to work. He gets the underhooks and puts Grinlinton inside his guard. As he is doing this he controls Grinlinton's head and traps his right arm. Van De Creek pushes Grinlinton's left arm down and brings his own right leg up and works for the triangle and then switches to an armbar. Grinlinton is able to defend but stays inside of Van De Creek's guard. This time he attacks the other side with a triangle and again starts to go for an armbar. His corner tells him to "go back to triangle" and he does. This time it is deeper and tight. he tap comes quickly and just over two minutes in the fight is over. Grinlinton seemed determined to lose by triangle choke. He had no answers for Van De Creek's long limbs on the ground and we get a heavyweight submission.
Final Result: Gregg Van De Creek defeats Kirk Grinlinton via submission (triangle choke) - Round 1, 2:06
We go to the other end of weight classes for the next fight. A battle between two flyweights; Jeimeson Saudino (6-1) and Zach Hubbard (1-0). Hubbard comes out aggressive and charges into a clinch. Saudino quickly lands a nice knee and Hubbard breaks away. Hubbard charges back in, almost right into another clinch, instead he bounces back. Then for the third time in the opening fifteen seconds he charges in again. Saudino lands an audible turning kick to Hubbard's liver. Hubbard shoots, Saudino stuffs. They grapple. Saudino ends up in Hubbard's guard for a moment and they are back to their feet. Hubbard is quick athletically but Saudino is five to eight moves ahead. They are clinched against the cage and Saudino lulls Hubbard. He does not throw a lot of knees hoping to land one. Instead he waits for the opening and nails it. Blasting Hubbard again with crisp clean knee complete with sound effects. Then Saudino pounces. He unleashes a barrage of punches and punctuates it with another knee. Hubbard is tough and answers back with a flurry of his own to get back to the center of the cage. His reward is a jumping front kick that in avoiding it, he lands on his back receiving the gift of Saudino's ground and pound. They scramble and Hubbard desperately tries to get a double leg but he is never close to touching his hands. Instead he finds himself in a guillotine choke. Once again Hubbard escapes and then gets the takedown landing inside of Saudino's guard. After working a little on the ground Saudino secures a triangle. Hubbard defends and is bleeding all over Saudino. Saudino adjusts the triangle. Now it is locked in tight. Hubbard taps. Saudino looked dominate earning the submission win. Hubbard showed his inexperience but also his toughness and talent. Both fighters have good futures in front of them.
Final Result: Jeimeson Saudino defeats Zach Hubbard via submission (triangle choke) - Round 1, 2:41
The action continues with Jesus "The Pit" Adame (3-2) facing veteran Brian "Mr. D" Davidson (10-4). Adame had a tough weight cut and comes in over the limit for this catchweight fight. A fight he did take on short notice. Adame comes in at 155 lbs and Davidson at 149lbs. According to Schiavello, Davidson vows to punish Adame for not making weight and go full old school tae kwon do on him. Adame will counter with his boxing skills.
Davidson comes out with a couple of leg kicks and Adame answers with punches. They exchange this way for the first two minutes of the contest. Then Davidson lands a spinning back kick to left side of Adame's body. First the solid sound of the kick. Followed by the reaction from the crowd. Then Adame's grimace as he tries to cover up that he is hurt. Davidson rushes in to a clinch. He lands a couple of knees to the head that are partially blocked. Adame is tough and avoids taking much damage. Davidson is using a frenetic tae kwon do style to control the first two minutes of the round. Adame catches a kick and gets the takedown. Adame can do nothing here and Davidson takes no damage. They stand up and Davidson gets his own takedown and is quickly in side control. He lands several clean shots and takes Adame's back. Adame defends and reverses ending up on top. Again nothing offensive from here as Davidson controls the action. It is an entertaining first round. Adame takes some big shots, and has some moments, but it is Davidson's round.
The second round starts at distance and a little slower. It is almost like a delayed feeling out process and then it becomes more of brawl. Adame landing some good punches and Davidson using knees, kicks and punches to inflict his damage. Adame gets comfortable and becomes the aggressor. The problem is he cannot sustain it. He is slowing down and suffering the effects of the tough weight cut. Also, Davidson starts to catch him with more kicks. It is tough to trade punches for knees and kicks. It is a much better round for Adame but he seems to have taken more damage from the kicks and knees.
The third starts out the way the second ended. Davidson bouncing, moving around and being frustrating. He lands a very quick, jumping knee. Davidson then gets a takedown and works over Adame on the ground. This is clearly a situation of Davidson being able to give out a lot of punishment, and Adame has the heart and toughness to take it. He also keeps trying to find a way to win. Davidson is just too good for him on this night and takes the UD victory. Adame fought valiantly in fight against a difficult, awkward, tough and wily opponent on short notice.
Final Result: Brian Davidson defeats Jesus Adame via UD
The co-main event features Jake "The Librarian" Lindsey (7-0) versus Zach "The Altar Boy" Freeman (7-0) in a battle of undefeated lightweights. The pre-fight talk was all about how even these two fighters were on paper.
The opening moments of the fight consist of Freeman throwing some kicks and Lindsey answering with punches. Neither fighter is landing anything; they both seemed to be trying to find their timing. Freeman starts to land a couple of crisper kicks and starts stringing them together with some punches. He backs Lindsey up. Freeman just misses an overhand right that would have ended the fight. Lindsey answers with a thudding outside leg kick. Freeman responds with a right to the jaw. They clinch up against the cage. Freeman lands a couple of knees but nothing clean. Lindsey lands several deep shots to the body. They exchange some knees and Lindsey is pressed up against the cage. Lindsey starts to assume control in the clinch. His knees are starting to land cleaner. He spins Freeman against the cage. Freeman has had enough of this and breaks away. Freeman throws a wild overhand right and tries to follow it with a takedown. Lindsey easily stuffs it. They exchange a little and then boom. Lindsey lands a short overhand right of his own and Freeman goes down. The ref forces Lindsey to hit Freeman several more times and this fight is over. It was a sudden highlight reel finish and Lindsey keeps his perfect record with style.
Final Result: Jake Lindsey defeats Zach Freeman via KO (punches) - Round 1, 2:31
The main event is Bobby "The Dominator" Lashley (7-2) taking on Kevin "Concrete" Asplund (13-4) in another heavyweight clash. Lashley gets the early takedown and is in side control working his ground and pound. He quickly transitions to the mount. Asplund shows some strength in using the cage to power out and gets back to his feet. A couple of punches from each fighter, and Lashley easily gets another takedown. He is once again in side control and this time is content to work some ground and pound from that position. Lashley opens up a little cut and is just grinding down Asplund with short sharp elbows. Lashley transitions again to the mount in the closing seconds and ends up with Asplund's back. It is a complete mauling by Lashley and Asplund's face shows it.
The second round is more of the same. Lashley gets the takedown. He is in side control doing damage to Asplund only now he works a little harder for the keylock submission and he quickly secures it, giving us the second heavyweight submission win of the night. It is a thorough domination by Lashley in his return to the cage and leaves us wanting to see him against another level of competition. It caps off another entertaining and exciting night of fights by Titan Fighting Championship on AXS TV.
Final Result: Bobby Lashley defeats Kevin Asplund via submission (keylock) - Round 2, 1:23